Important Cubing Vocabularies


Cubing is a hobby. With every hobby, there comes a specific set of words that only the members of the community can understand. Cubing also has a bunch of special words that would maybe sound nonsense to a non-cuber! So let’s get to exploring these words!

Cubing Notations

R U R’ U’ R’ F R2 U’ R’ U’ R U R’ F’. This makes no sense to a non-cuber, but for our special community of cubers, this is the T-perm, and this set of seemingly nonsense letters is actually the set of moves that need to be done on the cube in a specific order to solve a certain case or situation during the solve.

This is what the notations mean - 

  • Left Face - L
  • Right Face - R
  • Up Face - U
  • Down Face (bottom of the cube) - D
  • Front Face (the side facing you) - F
  • Back Face (the side facing away from you) - B 

Sexy Move

There’s a set of moves, done together is called the “sexy move” in cubing terminology. The moves are R U R’ U’. This term is widely known all over the cubing community.

PB, DNF, ao5, ao12, etc.

These are terms related to the solve times. PB means “personal best” which is very self-explanatory. DNF means that the person did not solve the cube before stopping the timer, or did not start solving the cube after 15+2 seconds of inspection. Ao5, ao12, and other terms similar to these refer to the average of 5 solves, 12 solves, etc.

CFOP and Its Parts (Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL)

CFOP is a method used to speedsolve the cube. It is an advanced method and is used by tons and tons of cubers all around the world. It is also sometimes called the Fridrich Method. It has four stages, first, we solve the cross on the bottom, then the first two layers simultaneously (F2L), instead of solving them one by one as done in the beginners' method. After the first two layers, we orient the last layer, called OLL, which means getting yellow all on the top side, while ignoring where the pieces actually need to go, just arranging all the yellow on top(or any other color based on which cross you solve). Then we finally permute the last layer, which is the final step. In PLL, we move the last layer pieces on top, while maintaining the color on the top face, to completely solve the cube.

Look Ahead

Lookahead, the term  is very self-explanatory. It means looking for other pieces to solve the remainder of the cube while performing the current case or algorithm. This is an integral part of improving when you average around 30-40 seconds.

World Cube Association (WCA)

The WCA or World Cube Association is an organization that regulates official competitions for 17 events, which are either variations of the 3x3, like solving blindfolded, one-handed, etc. or are different puzzles altogether, like Pyraminx, Megaminx, etc.

Color Neutral

Being color neutral means that you can start solving the cube with any color. Most cubers are used to solving the cross on one color every time. The majority of people use white as their main color. With this habit, it becomes really easy to recognize white pieces, but it becomes way harder to recognize other colors. Color-neutral people start solving their cross on any color, recognizing every color with equal efficiency.


Inspection time is the time given to a cuber for recognizing and scouting for specific pieces before starting the solve. A maximum of 15 seconds of inspection time is given to the cuber. Failing to start the solve after those 15 seconds have passed will result in a +2 seconds add-on to the final solve time if the cuber starts within 17 seconds. If the cuber fails to start the solve even within 17 seconds of inspection, the solve is considered a DNF.


These were some of the most used cubing vocabularies. To all the cubers out there who don’t know all of these, take notes! Knowing these terminologies is a part and parcel of being in the cubing community.

About Author

Sarthak Masta is a speedcuber from Raipur. He started cubing in 2013 and now has 9 years of cubing experience. Apart from cubing, Sarthak enjoys making music and singing. He has attended a total of 7 competitions in Raipur and has gotten 10 podiums, with 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals. 


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